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these laws would elevate the laboring population to a higher position, but rather with the view to showing that this transformation is so difficult that it is not likely to take place. His position, therefore, is as radical as that of Marx; Marx, however, relies more on the revolutionary methods as applied to the distribution of income, while Mill would effect the same end by a distribution of property. In either case, a radical reconstruction of society would take place. Both Mill and Marx were plainly of the opinion that this transformation was inevitable and desirable. The compromise which Mill effected between reactionary production and revolutionary distribution was accepted by the economists of the next generation, not as a compromise, but rather as a solution. Only after long, serious study did the inherent opposition in Mill's position become apparent. It was then recognized that between Mill's theories of production and distribution an irreconcilable gulf intervened.

In the epoch following the publication of Mill's Political Economy the economists were divided into two groups: one attempted to make economic theory consistent by making distribution reactionary; the other group attempted to acquire consistency by creating a revolutionary theory of production. Of the latter attempts, the work of Karl Marx is prominent. His book on Capital is an endeavor to give a revolutionary basis to theories of production. I shall not describe his efforts in this connection, but it is plain that they have failed. No revolutionary theory of production has been worked out in a way that would gain for it general recognition. The law of increasing misery, the iron law of wages, and similar doctrines have been either abandoned or discredited. The movement, therefore, to gain consistency in economic theory through . revolutionary concepts in production must be regarded as a failure. In a like way, although it is not so generally recognized, the endeavors to create a reactionary theory of distribution have also failed. Writers with reactionary tendencies have not experienced

. many difficulties in restating production, but in the attempt to put the theory of distribution on a plane similar to that occupied by the theory of production the shortcomings of their theories are apparent. So

many writers have attempted the task of creating a consistent economic theory that it can now be regarded as something impossible to do. If consistency and harmony are to be attained, economists must find some new way of handling economic problems.

This brings us into the present epoch; 1912, at least for America, seems clearly the year in which the break from the old to the new has become apparent. The essential thing in the new epoch is the increased power of evolutionary ideas. Today, instead of having a sharp contrast between reaction and revolution, a third alternative is possible progress through evolution. I shall therefore put the three groups in conscious contrast, so that the elements upon which each depends may be made clear. In order to do this, I shall give a table in which the elements for reactionary, revolutionary, and evolutionary reasoning are contrasted.

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Reactionary thought begins with a retrospective, or perhaps it is better to say a historical, attitude, since there is an emphasis on old conditions and old ideas, rather than on those of the present. With this basis, the reasoning becomes hypothetical, and as the class feeling that results develops, reactionary thought becomes dogmatic. It also changes into undemocratic forms, which end in the emphasis of the superiority of the capitalistic class over those who are engaged in manual labor. The reactionary thinker is also class-conscious, because he views the world from the standpoint of his particular group rather than the nation as a whole. In contrast with this, revolutionary thinkers expect large results to come suddenly by transformations that are epoch-making in their consequences. There is also a decided emphasis on militant action ending in or at least transforming itself into heroic action. All revolutionary thinkers look to some hero to make the transformations they hope for rather than to the small steady changes that lead to regular progress. A much-quoted statement from Mill represents this view: “When the object is to raise the permanent condition of a people, small means do not merely produce small effects, they produce no effects at all.” If this is true, then social progress depends upon those epoch-making changes that revolutions inaugurate, and must be brought about by the revolutionary measures that disturb the normal growth of society.

In contrast with this, evolution proceeds by small changes that are persistent in their action, and therefore create cumulative effects. There are also those which can be measured objectively. The changes that follow can usually be represented by some statistical curves. This gives to evolutionary concepts a material form and emphasizes the slow changes that progress is making. Such changes give but little place for heroic action. The man who makes small improvements is usually a commonplace individual, and yet it is the accumulation of these small changes that reorganizes society, and in the end improves its tone and character. The hero is out of place, except where militant action can create epoch-making changes.



Harvard University

The social idealism of the present age has deeply affected many sciences and professions, and its influence has been instructively traced during these meetings in its relation to the study of history, politics, and economics, and to the movements of legislation and philanthropy. All these indications of the new social conscience are of importance, but the region of human interest in which its profoundest effect may be observed is unquestionably that occupied by religion. When one contrasts the note of teaching and preaching, the activities of organizations and churches, and the very theory of redemption, which have prevailed for centuries in all communions, with the spirit of worship and work which is characteristic of religion at the present time, the change appears to be practically a revolution. In Protestant Christianity especially, where the philosophy of individualism has had almost complete control, this change in the center of gravity has created a new type of religious life. For many generations the conditions of personal salvation have been the burden of theological teaching, and the attainment of that salvation the sufficient end of religious aspiration.

The same extraordinary transition which has of late transformed modern politics and modern economics has also revolutionized the current conception of religion. Governmental non-interference and laissez-faire industrialism had their counterpart and parallel in self-centered theology and self-satisfied piety. The renaissance of the social conscience has brought with it a socialization of religion. It is a transition like that from the Ptolemaic to the Copernican conception of the world. It transfers one from the thought of oneself as the fixed point round which the universe revolves to the recognition of an orbit in which one moves round an infinitely larger center. The religion of the individual remains not less real, but is taken up into the larger unity of social redemption. Round the problem of personal salvation sweeps the problem of a world to be saved. Organizations created for worship find themselves irresistibly summoned to become organizations for work. The world, as the title of Canon Fremantle's epoch-making book announced, has become the "subject of redemption.” Communions of Christians publish their social programs. "By their fruits ye shall know them”; “I will show thee my faith by my works” might be the text of modern religion. Instead of an individual rescued from a perishing world, like a sailor from a sinking ship, the socialization of religion sets the sailor to the more heroic task of joining with his fellows to bring the world, like a battered but still seaworthy vessel, safe to its port.

What are the influences which have brought about this revolutionary transition? It must be at once confessed that they are not to be discovered in theological instruction or philosophical insight. On the contrary, theology has clung to its traditional formulae long after they lost reality, and philosophy has been content to repeat the teachings of the nineteenth century to the careless ears of the twentieth. The same confession which religion makes of tardy discernment of the signs of the times must, however, be made by economics and politics. There, also, the doctrines which interpreted a simple and provincial world have been stretched to cover a new complexity of civilization; and there, also, the sudden and tremendous expansion of social unity has compelled a corresponding expansion of economic theory and political action. Precisely as economics and politics, in the troubled years at the middle of the nineteenth century, were confronted by new circumstances of agitation and revolution, of industrial distress and national peril, and a new conception of social responsibility and organic unity was demanded to interpret a new world, so the same sense of strain and collision has been felt by religious teachers, and the same transition has become inevitable. Phrases, now familiar, but a generation ago novel and undefined-such as “The social organism," "The co-operative commonwealth," "Social legislation," "Social justice”—are taken up into the worship and work of the churches. A new significance is discovered in John

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